Then & Now

One tends to notice subtle changes when one walks the campus with camera in hand and has a penchant for shooting practically anything. Here are ten thens and nows.

1. The Broken Bench

North of Canterbury House is a cement slab – probably a house/garage foundation or driveway – where two sets of stone benches were installed. In 2007 the westernmost benches can be seen in this view of Sam Houston Village. One of the benches was broken by the time we returned in 2009. Two years later the broken bench had been removed.

North Park bench (2007)
North Park bench (2009) North Park bench (2011)

2. The Disappearing Letter

The wooden letters outside the Canterbury House that spell out “ESC” don’t mean “escape” but rather “Episcopal Student Center.” But it does appear the “S” escaped the fray, leaving the “E” and “C” to carry on as a duo. Is that a Weber Grill trying out as the new "S"?

Canterbury House
Canterbury House

3. The Stoic Scoreboard

There aren’t any personal photographs in our archives of the original scoreboard at Bowers Stadium so we’ll have to rely on one we found in the recesses of the Internet (probably mid/late-1990s, too). In 2006 the university dismantled the 20-year old scoreboard and installed a new video board for use in the new century. We did grab a shot of the new one a year later.

Bowers Stadium Scoreboard
Bowers Stadium Scoreboard

 

4. The Bleu Door

Apparently in the span of just a few years girls of the Zeta Tau Alpha Sorority decided to get a new front door. Gone was the brownish door from 2006, replaced with the turquoise number from in 2009.

Zeta Tau Alpha Sorority
Zeta Tau Alpha Sorority

5. The Painted Face

We first found this artwork during our 2007 visit to campus in the southwestern corner of the uppermost level of the Parking Garage. Two years later it was popular enough that the Fork even posed alongside it; however, one supposes graffiti is nothing more than graffiti and by 2011 the fluid face of some forgotten fellow had been white-washed.

Sam Houston Parking Garage (2007)
Sam Houston Parking Garage (2007)

6. The Purloined Placard

The men of Baldwin House didn’t get a new door – just a new sign out front their old door, since the one hanging in 2005 appeared faded beyond its years. The new sign looks to last another decade…but will the house?

Baldwin House (2005)
Baldwin House (2009)

7. The Silent Stairs

During my March 2007 visit to campus I found some stray segments of cement north of Randel and Spivey houses: two steps and a sidewalk that look to lead up toward a house long ago demolished. Nearby was a tree surrounded by a stone landscaping. According to a mid-1960s campus map, 20th Street originally ran north of Randel House (this was prior to the construction of the coliseum; today's 20th Street exists south of Randel, Spivey, and Vick houses). In a photo from the 1960s we see a residence north of Spivey – is this house somehow connected to the sidewalk? The areas where the Smith-Hutson addition and the CHSS Building were constructed once served as parking lots; before that, this stretch of Avenue I appears to have been a neighborhood, full of houses.

College of Humanities and Social Sciences Building
College of Humanities and Social Sciences Building College of Humanities and Social Sciences Building

8. The Parking Plot

The president of the university has had the privilege of parking his or her vehicle opposite the Administration Building in a space west of the Thomason Building. For years the sign was painted on the curb in a kitschy orange script. Later (perhaps when Dr. Gibson began parking there?) it was covered up by something that looked like every other sort of campus signage and written in some standard typeface.

Presidential Parking Space
Presidential Parking Space

9. The Plastic Collector

We’re all for recycling and “bein’ green” but there is something silly about placing a calypso-playing dumpster within earshot of the buildings Sam Houston himself lived, worked, and died in. True, the people who feed the machine probably parked here whilst they played over at Pritchett Field and now need a place to deposit their plastic water or soda bottles. Hey, mon – it’s a museum!

Adams Hall parking lot
Adams Hall parking lot

10. The Route Reminder

In 2009 the University Wellness Committee began sponsoring a 1.5 mile walking route around campus. The trail is marked by signs, one of which was installed at the southwest corner of Avenue I and 17th Street, as seen in the second photo.

17th Street at Avenue I
17th Street at Avenue I

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